First, a description of the phenomenon. Someone commits a crime or misdemeanor, let's say for example they steal a bike to get home while they're drunk. In Japan, that crime will actually be investigated and solved by community policing. So the law-breaker will be dragged to the police station and there they will grovel and promise to never ever do it again. So the police get him to sign a confession and a promise he'll never do it again, he may or may not go before the judge, and then he's let off the hook completely. No sentence, no conditional sentence, no probation, just off the hook.
WHY? Are the judges and/or police naive or stupid? Far, far from it. The law-breaker has been sentenced to rehabilitation, the groveling WAS the rehabilitation, and so the sentence didn't even need to be issued before it was served and done with. And why do Japanese law officers consider groveling to be rehabilitation? And why do they consider it to be EFFECTIVE? Well, it's because Japanese are all submissives and are TAUGHT to be submissives. It's what their society targets with childrearing mode 4 as its ideal citizens.
So on the one hand, an act of abject submission indicates that the cultural indoctrination took and took well. Thus, it's not necessary (and may backfire) to treat this ideal citizen badly for a tiny little failing. Forgive and forget is better. And on the OTHER hand, they know damn well that greater than 99.5% of their citizens are submissives or passives (submissive not to individuals but to the overall will of society) so the rehabilitation is going to be successful in 995 cases out of 1000!
Japanese society isn't merely childrearing mode 4. It doesn't just target Submissive Lawful Evil in practice, it actually expects its citizens to be Submissive Lawful Neutral. Which is unrealistic but it's what it expects. That is what it ASPIRES for its citizens, that they not be Evil despite childrearing that reinforces it. In Anglo-American countries, the expectation is reversed. Society expects people to be Evil, considers Evil to be desirable even, but expects them to not be Submissive.
In both cases, you've got Sincere Backwardsness. Like George Lucas sincerely pushing the idea of monarchism in Star Wars. Or JRR Tolkien sincerely pushing anti-Industrialism. Or Robert Heinlein sincerely pushing Fascism. The difference is just that the backwardsness pushed by Anglo-American societies is EVIL whereas in Japan it's SUBMISSION.